COVID-19 and Extended Foster Care

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is extending the Extended Foster Care program for nonminor dependents currently in Extended Foster Care who turn 21 on or after April 18, 2020 until June 30, 2020.  Before a nonminor dependent reaches their 21st birthday, counties should discuss this temporary extension with the nonminor dependent to determine if they want it.

Counties should be flexible with nonminor dependents who cannot meet eligibility criteria because of COVID-19.  In general, nonminor dependants must be either completing secondary education or in a program leading to an equivalent credential, enrolled in college or vocational education, participating in a program to promote or remove barriers to employment, be employed for at least 80 hours per month, or be incapable of doing other activities because of a medical condition.

Nonminor dependents who have lost their jobs or had their education disrupted remain eligible for Extended Foster Care.  Nonminor dependents who are doing distance learning remain eligible for Extended Foster Care.  Nonminor dependents remain eligible if they cannot participate because of COVID-19 but are doing programs to promote or reduce barriers to employment or have a medical condition that prevents them from participating.  Medical conditions can be short or long-term.  Written verification from a health care practitioner can be obtained after social distancing orders are lifted.

If eligibility cannot be maintained using this flexibility, placements must be continued until June 30, 2020.

Nonminors ages 18 to 21 requesting entry or re-entry into Extended Foster Care must continue to be served.  A nonminor’s inability to meet participation requirements because of COVID-19 is not a reason to deny entry or reentry.  Forms must still be completed but they can be temporarily done without a face-to-face meeting.

Nonminor dependants who have housing disruptions, including living in a college dormitory, must be given assistance in finding a safe and appropriate housing option.  (ACL 20-45, April 18, 2020.)